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Health Benefits of Okra and Stewed Okra Recipe


I have been venturing into the land of new vegetables. I suppose that’s what travelling does to someone who is a nutrition nerdress like me (though I say that without judgment). Monday we talked eggplant, today, I am kicking it slimy style with okra.

This is okara:

Okra is a green vegetable that is mildly fuzzy on the outside and majorly slimy on the inside. As revolting as that unjust description may sound, don’t judge a vegetable by its furry/slimyness and instead trust that 1) it IS delicious and 2) that slimyness is a little health bonus.

Am I ever excited to share these little tidbits with you:

  • The superior-powered stylings of fiber found in okra helps stabilize blood sugar by slowing the rate at which it is absorbed.
  • Okra’s mucilage (the slimy part) binds with cholesterol and bile acid carrying toxins that get dumped by our hard working liver and gets that shyte out.
  • Okra helps lube up the large intestines thanks to its  bulking  laxative qualities. The okra fiber absorbs water and ensures bulk in stools. Unlike extracted fibres like  wheat bran, which be a bit rough and tumble on the delicate tissue of the digestive tract, okra’s mucilage soothes this tissue and facilitates a more um… slippery elimination
  • Okra fiber is excellent for feeding the good bacteria, contributing to the health of the intestinal tract.
  • Okra is a supreme vegetable for those feeling weak, exhausted, and suffering from depression.
  • Okra is used for healing ulcers and to keep joints limber.
  • It helps to neutralize acids, being very alkaline, and provides a temporary protective coating for the digestive tract.
  • Okra treats lung inflammation, sore throat, and irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Okra’s is high in vitamin C,  an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, which reduces asthmatic symptoms.
  • Okra protects you from pimples and maintains smooth and beautiful skin, likely because it helps get rid of our body’s toxic waste

I am perfectly content to give these babies the old rinse and steam but you don’t need a recipe for that. So instead I cooked them up with some tomatoes, my newly beloved wonky boob eggplant, celery onion, a little olive oil and salt and voila it was ready and totes amazing.

Slippery Stewed Okra and Other Great Veggies

3 cups (about 12) okras, tips removed and sliced
1/2 cup celery, sliced
2 cups eggplant, cubed
4-5 medium size tomatoes, cubed
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs olive oil
sea salt and cayenne to taste

  • Saute onions in olive oil until translucent. Add a little water if they seem to be sticking
  • Add all remaining vegetables and cook on medium heat covered
  • The tomatoes will provide the liquid as they cook, though you may want to stir it around once in a while to keep it from sticking
  • Simmer on low for 15-20 mins until the vegetables are cooked other and celery is tender
  • Add sea salt and cayenne
  • Easy peasy and you are at the ‘voila’ stage!

14 responses to “Health Benefits of Okra and Stewed Okra Recipe”

  1. Grace says:

    I used to eat okra all the time when I lived in the city, but I can’t get it where I live now:( But I’ll keep my eye out for it. It definitely tastes better than it looks.

  2. Holly@aiminghigh says:

    I consider myself pretty adventurous when it comes to trying new foods, but, girl, you actually make me WANT to try things just for the sake of their benefits!

  3. catherine f. says:

    Now that I have proven that I know how to turn the stove on, may I ask whether this dish is a main? A side? What do we serve it with?
    Love, a girl still needing help.

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      Yep- can be a dish unto itself though might be lacking on the protein side. Could always add beans to the mix or enjoy it with fish or your meat of choice. And look out for Monday C.- all about dins.

  4. meatlessmama says:

    I have never tried okra, I didn’t know what to do with it. Thanks!

  5. patrick says:

    wow when i saw this article i thought maybe you were visiting my home state, in the land of meat and potatoes. but fried okra is a local favorite and grows profusely ’round here. it’s sliminess is a lil offputting, but i never knew it was so very good for you! also slimy is cactus, or ‘nopales’ as mi abuela calls them. what can u tell us about cactus?

  6. Lauren says:

    Are you going to talk about swiss chard? My garden is currently overflowing with chard, but just a few years ago I didn’t know what chard was. And from what I’ve read it’s super good for you.

    My husband loves okra. I’ll have to try this recipe :)

  7. Andrea @Canadianfoodiegirl says:

    My mother went through an okra phase when I was growing up – in my early teens, maybe. I don’t remember whether or not I liked it, just a day when I was in hysterical laughter about my repulsion to its fuzzy, slimy nature. It totally creeped me out that day. Maybe it’s because I saw it raw. Oh, childhood kitchen memories.

    Maybe I should give okra another chance and cook with it myself. I’ve probably had it in jambalaya.

  8. Elizabeth says:

    You are AWESOME for listing these benefits!! I got your link from Kitchen Operas.

  9. samasamad says:

    I love okra. When I was little, my father had a large garden of many vegetables, and okra was one of my favorite.. I would just plug one off, the little ones are better, the seeds are still small and therefore you don’t taste the seeds. Noticing your catchy slogan; “Making love in the kitchen”… it took my attention, since the subject is Okra. I am a complete fan of Okra, that I eat it raw, cooked, baked and also sun dried baked and I even use its mucilage extract as to add to my food recipes, and as well as am using the gel for body massage. I drink it as tea, and have it well kept fridge-fresh for daily use. I de-skin the Okra fruit. With a fine potato peeler, skin the fruit to reveal the fine fruit beneath that needled hairy skin and voila’ a real slimy and sexy fruit you beholding, and then… my wife was looking at me and said, “don’t you be getting any idea..”. yeah. It’s been a little two years now, I’ve been using this substance also on my wife and myself, and things has been going excitedly wonderful with my wife, especially these stuff is so very foodly and fondly fine. With its supreme ingeniousness, it gives extra sensation to body senses that you don’t get with other lubes… just using it to rub your tired feet, gives extreme relieve.. I am now making plans to plant large plantation of okra. I want to make it by the gallons so that one can use this fine liquid as a health revitalizing agent therapy. I can’t wait to just take a long quiet skin dip in the bathtub full deep with this mucilage.. as I lay there suspended in an environment that is almost like ocean swam by the pre-natal ones.. an ocean where I swam once upon a time for nine months.. Oh, and I took one fruit, cleaned it all inside and out, and laid in the hot sun, then had it cut to small 1/8 th. inch size. and they were so very dried up. But I eat like four little bits and my, they come to live in my mouth, filling my mouth with that incredible mucilage and sweetness of taste.. I bring about two cups of it, and I would just pour a whole cup on my wife and myself and as we swim and slither I would pour it all over my face and would dive into her ocean, and she would just laugh so hard and loving it… Remember, food is therapeutic, all the vegetables are herbal medicinal food for all souls..this wonderful story from the kitchen.. please do try this, it will help spices up lifes in all its angles.

  10. ann says:

    is okra feasible in paper binding..plz help me with yhis

  11. Dinner at Pukka - Andrea the Gastronaut says:

    […] fact the conversation was probably the result of being served coconut okra soup. I’ve shared this post and recipe many times since it was posted in early 2010. It comes out during summer CSA […]

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